Laurent Koscielny has officially ended his stay at Arsenal Football Club.
Nine years after joining the club, one shy of a testimonial, our Captain has departed to return home, with Bordeaux the destination.
A fee in the region of around £5m is being mentioned that will take the defender to France, and it means that the chase for a new defender will gather pace in the final throes of the transfer window.
The bottom line though, is that our defender has left Arsenal, and with the manner in which he engineered his leaving, has Koscielny tarnished his reputation with the fans?
Prior to going on strike and refusing to go on our US tour, Koscielny was held in the highest regard by us fans – and rightly so. Koscielny had put his body on the line time and again, and played when he had no right to do so with his knees and tendons creaking with the strain.
Also, for a couple of seasons, Koscielny stood alongside Vincent Kompany as arguably the best defender the Premier League had to offer. Bearing in mind our team were far from challengers at the time, Koscielny’s standard was a high one.
The fact he has ended his Arsenal stay with such a petulant and thoughtless act to get his wishes acted on, definitely dulls the shine with which he is regarded now and in the future.
To refuse to represent the club is one of the worst things a player can do, and shows no respect for Arsenal whatsoever. It also shows he disregarded the fans in his last weeks as an Arsenal player, which is frankly unforgivable.
It doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate what Koscielny did while he was here though. Without him, we surely would have dropped out of the top four a lot sooner than we actually did. More than 300 appearances since his debut back in 2011 is no mean feat, and places him amongst the best that have played for us in the last decade.
How many late goals did he score? How many points did he win us? He was known for the big games and stepping up when we needed him with goals. It would be remiss of us to forget that completely.
Farewell Laurent Koscielny. Thanks for the memories, and I hope that the move was worth it.